It doesn't seem like it's been that long since Father in Chief left Yahoo to join family-friendly start-up JotSpot. It was a great move for our family because the company's culture was being defined by people who also have kids, who make their family lives a priority. This was a stark difference from Yahoo. There, FIC reported to people that 1) didn't have kids or 2) who left their kids for extended hours each day as both parents held big jobs with long hours. When I first wrote about it, I ruffled some tender feathers at Yahoo. To be clear, I never said that having kids with a nanny or in childcare for 10-plus hours a day was bad (although it's not the family life I want). I simply stated the facts: It's often hard for people who make those choices to understand the parents who don't want regularly scheduled 7 pm meetings. I touched a tender chord, apparently.
Anyway, the start-up life was grand. Father in Chief was able to do some work at home in the morning and have an occasionally breakfast with Preschooler in Chief. It was occasionally because PIC is a very late sleeper, often getting up after 9 am. FIC was also nearly always home for dinner and our regular evening routine. This is important to the home life we want for our kids, for ourselves. We want FIC to be an everyday part of our family life--not a weekend guest, a visitor who appears on special occasions, or someone who just kisses the kids long after they are asleep in bed.
But just 18 months later, he finds himself back at a big company. Google bought JotSpot last October, and our concerns of long hours, late meetings and unsympathetic managers have not materialized. Quite the contrary. FIC has eased into his new role without sacrificing our morning, dinner or evening rituals. Yes, there are and will be occasional late meetings or early morning calls, but nothing of any magnitude has chipped our family's foundation. No wonder Fortune Magazine named Google the No. 1 company to work for in 2007. And the fabulous, free, better-than-Whole-Foods-quality meals are a nice perk as well.